BURY Council has announced a second round of discretionary grant funding to local businesses hit by the Covid-19 lockdown.

The money is specifically aimed at companies who have not been eligible for other forms of financial support provided by the Government.

Since the scheme was launched in June, the council has awarded 137 grants totalling £760,000, and applications still being processed will take the total to around £1 million. This will leave around £957,000 in the discretionary grant pot available for Phase 2.

Funding will be available to the following groups:

  • Businesses serving in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors who have a fixed premises cost but have been excluded from previous programmes because they are not open to the public
  • Firms with a rateable value of above £50k and below £55k who were excluded from the £10k and £25k government grants as an arbitrary ceiling had been set at £50k rateable value
  • Early Years providers. These businesses play a key role in ensuring that workers in Bury are able to access employment thanks to having childcare support
  • Attractions which bring in significant numbers of visitors to the borough and key town centres
  • Organisations who are eligible for support but missed the deadline for the first tranche of grants

Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, leader of Bury Council, said: “Local jobs and businesses are vital to our borough and we are doing all we can to ensure that they are helped through the pandemic and best placed to thrive as the lockdown eases.

“A number of key businesses have not received help because they do not qualify under the rules of the existing grant programmes.

"All businesses are important to us – that’s why we are using our discretionary funds to help them at this most difficult time and ensure that all sectors of business in Bury share in the recovery.”

Council officers are now working up the guidance and application form in readiness to accept application forms from July 6.